Detroit Pistons Lose Season Opener To Indiana Pacers 91-79
INDIANAPOLIS -- Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers defeat the Detroit Pistons 91-79 on Monday night in the season opener for both teams at the renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
David West, Indiana's big free agent addition, had 11 points and 12 rebounds, even though he made just 3 of 12 field goals. Tyler Hansbrough had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Paul George added 12 points.
Danny Granger, Indiana's leading scorer last season, finished with 16 points on 6-for-18 shooting. The Pacers shot just 37 percent from the field, but got away with it because they outrebounded the Pistons 53-40. Indiana had 18 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.
Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey each scored 17 points for the Pistons, who never led.
Indiana led big early, but Detroit made a push in the second quarter before back-to-back 3s by George and Darren Collison increased Indiana's lead to 47-34.
The Pacers led 52-38 at halftime and kept rolling at the start of the second half. Collison hit a baseline jumper off an offensive board by West, then followed it with a 3-pointer to push Indiana's lead to 59-42. Hibbert dunked and was fouled after a nifty inside feed by Granger. His free throw pushed Indiana's lead to 62-42 four minutes into the second half and forced a timeout by the Pistons.
Detroit played a bit better right out of the timeout, but a bucket by Hansbrough and a fast break layup by Dahntay Jones pushed the lead back to 20 and forced another Detroit timeout with 4:42 left in the third.
This timeout didn't work so well for the Pistons. Jones hit a long baseline jumper, then George Hill's steal and dunk pushed Indiana's lead to 74-50. The Pacers led 76-58 at the end of the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Granger pushed the lead to 85-61 with 7 minutes left in the game. Pacers fans gave the team a standing ovation in the final minute.
Notes: Pacers C Jeff Foster sat out with a back injury he tweaked during the preseason. ... Pistons C Ben Wallace was loudly booed during pregame introductions. Wallace played a key role in the brawl in 2004 that eventually forced the Pacers to rebuild. ... Indiana F Jeff Pendergraph missed the game with a sprained right knee. ... Indiana outscored Detroit 16-4 from the free-throw line in the first half. ... Indianapolis native George Hill had four points and four assists in his regular-season debut for Indiana.